Melissa C. Koh

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A Beginner’s Guide to Staying Fit at Home

Fitness, Lifestyle

Lots of people put off working out and keeping fit for lots of reasons, but with this month’s “circuit breaker” keeping us cooped up at home, now’s your chance to realise those fitness dreams. What better way to make use of this extra time than to start working out from the comfort of your own home. 

It’s a great way to spend your now-freer days, and relieve any stress and anxiety you may have, too. In a month’s time, you’ll be able to emerge from your home fitter and healthier than ever. 

That said, working out can be daunting – even if you’re doing it alone at home. To help you out, I’ve compiled my favourite tips and tricks for a great home workout. Most of them use minimal equipment, and are low-impact so you won’t have to worry about your neighbour complaining about your jumping around either. 

Your favourite fitness studios are now digital.

Just because going to your regular fitness class is now off-limits doesn’t mean that you have to lose touch of those routines you and your body have grown so accustom to. Some of my absolute favourite fitness studios, as such Ballet Body and Webarre, have released online classes / routines that you can follow from the comfort of your own home.  My beloved personal trainer, Limaran, who has been whiping me into shape over the past few months, goes on IG Live to share her fitness routines. You might be flying solo for your home work outs but you’re definitely not alone in working towards your fitness goals. 

YouTube is your best friend. 

Fitness YouTubers have taken the world by storm in recent years. Lots of people have seen amazing results just doing their easy-to-follow home workouts. The best part is, they’re completely free. 

Chloe Ting’s ab workouts have been blowing up on the Internet lately for giving people amazing results, in just 2 weeks. I’ve tried it myself, and it’s tough, but perfectly doable even for newbies. 

If butt-lifting is what you’re looking for, this booty-isolation workout by Boho Beautiful is sure to get your glutes, hamstrings, inner thighs, and basically entire lower body burning even before the 15 minutes are up. I was shaking by the halfway mark, and I have no idea how I completed the workout. It may have been a placebo effect, but I’m convinced my butt was lifted after doing that workout just once. 

For arms, Blogilates’ equipment-free workouts are quick and so simple, you can literally do them sitting down. Don’t underestimate these moves, though. They bring even the buffest of men to literal tears. 

These are just a few of my favourite workouts. If they aren’t to your liking, a quick search on YouTube will give you lots more to choose from. 

Improvise with what you have at home

Equipment-free workouts are great and convenient, but you may find yourself needing an extra boost from weights. If you weren’t able to get your hands on any home workout equipment, just use what you have at home. 

Pamela Reif’s Chair Workout is a 15-minute long, full-body routine that combines strength, cardio and balance all in one, using just a chair. This is definitely a challenge, even if you’re a seasoned gym-goer. Still, it’s worth a try for anyone if you’re looking to have a good, quick sweat session. 

If you want to add weights but don’t have any on hand, try large water bottles, milk powder tins or even a bag of rice. They may be a little uncomfortable to hold, but we’ve gotta make do with what we have, right? 

Here’s another tip – if you feel that mountain climbers and lunges put too much stress on your knees, try slipping a towel underneath your moving foot to act as a slider. It’s great for making your movements smoother so you can focus on your form. Check out this towel slider workout too, for more ideas on how to incorporate these exercises into your daily workouts.

Do what you can to stay active

Just because it’s not a 45-minute-long HIIT or cardio session doesn’t mean it’s not effective. 

Working out at home is a completely different experience than attending a workout class or even working out outdoors. The beauty of it is how adaptable it is. It’s entirely up to you to decide how intense or gentle you want your workout to be. 

Staying fit and healthy is a dedication we make to ourselves, and it’s important to create a routine that you can stick to. 

If you’re starting out, doing some simpler, shorter routines at first will help you ease your way into a sustainable exercise regime. Once you’re used to it, you can amp up the intensity as much as you like. 

These are just some suggestions for exercising at home. Take it easy, and do be careful not to injure yourselves. It’s best not to proceed if something feels even slightly off, you could get carried away and end up hurting yourself if you don’t. 

That said, do take care of yourselves during the circuit breaker and take good care of yourselves. Going out for walks is still allowed, but do wear a mask to protect yourselves. 

This circuit breaker is a month long, so let’s make the best of it and stay positive and vigilant. 

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